By Lynda Bishop
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Whether you’re on your way up the corporate ladder or are simply determined to succeed in your current position, joining a mastermind group is one of the most powerful decisions you can make.
By dedicating a few meaningful hours per month to your group, you’ll gain a secret ingredient for better ideas, more confidence, higher level strategy and peace of mind. I know what you’re thinking – that as a facilitator of professional mastermind groups, I might be biased. I also know you didn’t get where you are by chance. Smart professionals make decisions with their heads and hearts and by doing their research. In 2019, I helped conduct a survey of more than 80 women executives and business leaders across the United States who had been participating in a mastermind group for at least three years. Here are their top five reasons why their mastermind group is their most valued career-building asset:
Reason 1: Connectivity
Well-organized mastermind groups align people who have some things in common, but who are also from different companies, locations and industries. The network that is built across these lines can prove incredibly valuable over time. New perspectives, broader experience shares and an expanded level of resources are created that would never be possible to find within one organization. In addition, many of the women surveyed are among the few women in an executive leadership role in their firm. Their mastermind group gives them a place to connect with other women in similar roles.
Reason 2: Group Genius
Sharing our real struggles within a mastermind group gives us the opportunity to learn from the experience of other women who understand where we are. Finding new perspectives, new ideas and new strategies happen naturally in a cohesive group, and we all get the benefit of growing together. As one survey respondent expressed, “I always find the best solutions by being able to bounce ideas off of others and learn from their successes or mistakes.”
Reason 3: Safety
Being vulnerable is uncomfortable. The topic of safety was brought up by nearly every survey respondent as a benefit of being a part of their group. As women executives, it is often difficult to find a truly safe, confidential place to express ourselves. We all want a safe place to share our worries, our failures, our questions, our emotions, our future plans and even to cheer about our successes. To have a private, dedicated group that keeps each other safe is both rare and priceless. To quote one respondent, “I love having a safe space to talk about business and personal situations without worrying about judgment from others. I know that what I talk about stays private too.”
Reason 4: Support
The support received and given in a mastermind group is not like any other group. Great mastermind groups are like personal support groups for the work, family and personal aspects of our lives. As one respondent said, “My mastermind sisters have my back...and I have theirs. We get each other, and we understand the complexities of how the different areas of our lives intersect. We are mothers, wives, sisters, daughters, friends and we have complex careers too.”
Reason 5: Real, Lasting Relationships
Saving what might be the best for last, every woman surveyed noted the greatest value of mastermind groups was the real relationships that are formed within the groups. In their own words: “I found my tribe…I love that our bond grows stronger as time goes on and we truly care about each other.” And, “On days when I am struggling, my mastermind group holds me up, dusts me off and gives me the encouragement and fuel to be strong. I know we have found each other for life.”
I couldn’t have said it better myself.
Blog Author Bio:
Lynda Bishop, MPC, CEC, is a professional mastermind facilitator, executive coach, author, speaker, masters level mental health counselor and national program director for large, progressive women based leadership organizations. She is the facilitator of the mastermind groups at the Network of Executive Women and the National Association of Women Business Owners, among others. Find out more about her on LinkedIn or at www.lyndabishop.com